Feeds

P2P start-up snags almost every film in Hollywood

Web video services gold rush

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Comment Every news source that covers digital media this week followed the Wall Street Journal in heaping praise on start-up Vudu that has managed to get most of Hollywood, not counting Sony, to give it access to major motion pictures for downloading over the web, using a peer to peer architecture.

But apart from the non-technical press release, there is no data on just how this system works, and it seems to have an inherent contradiction in that it doesn't require a PC - you can just link the set top directly to a broadband line, for the princely sum of $300.

Well, at least that might be a contradiction. The set top, in order to be a P2P client, is almost certainly a stripped down PC of sorts, and it must use some operating software, and it must need some considerable storage - not only so the customer can store their movies DVR-like, but so that collectively all of the devices out there can store the entire 5,000 film video library multiple times over, hopefully encrypted, scattered among the various client devices so there are some benefits from using P2P.

It isn't essential that a P2P architecture sits on a PC, but that's what most of them are written for, and we suspect that at $300 this device is, conceptually at least, rather PC-like.

Vudu said it has closed deals with seven major motion picture studios: Disney, Lionsgate, New Line, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Studios, and Warner Brothers, plus 15 independents.

"We've created the product everyone wants, the product many have tried to build, and, until now, the product no one has succeeded in delivering," said Tony Miranz, founder of Vudu. "We've brought together the best team in Silicon Valley to give movie lovers the ability to watch thousands of movies instantly, without leaving their homes."

Miranz and Chairman Alain Rossmann say the team is made up of technology veterans from TiVo, WebTV, Openwave, 2Wire, Slim Devices, OpenTV, and Danger and that the company has funding from Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital.

Well, while we are waiting for the beta program to unfold and for some smart techie to rumble what's under the bonnet of this start up, our expectation is that it's all Windows Media file types, using Windows Media DRM. And that means this device can and will be hacked, unravelling the entire libraries in a single place, virtually overnight. After all, Windows Media DRM has already been compromised on PCs. Still, let's not judge it until we know the answer.

What it will need is a hardware encryption key that is tamper proof to avoid that, and Vudu may have done that. We don't see the studios happy to give away that many movies unless they are safe, but on the other hand, that depends on the release window. Are these films past their DVD sell by date and well into their long tail cable re-run period? In which case there is no risk.

How come Apple has only managed to license a few hundred Hollywood films and a start up gets the lot? The company is rumoured to have raised around $21m in VC funding.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.